Moonstone, M-80 Graphite, 1982
About the Builder:
Moonstone guitars, founded by Steve Helgeson, has been producing some of the worlds finest hand-crafted acoustic, electric, and bass guitars for nearly 38 years. Self taught, in 1972, Steve set up his first shop in the woods of Moonstone Heights, California. There he experimented primarily with acoustic guitar designs.
In 1974, Steve moved to Arcata, California and developed the Earthaxe electric, while also doing repairs for a local music store. In 1976, Steve moved down the street to a larger shop where he built two large acoustic basses, and continued to produce the Earthaxe line, along with a few acoustic 6 strings.
From the beginning, Steve has implemented the use of highly figured and exotic imported tone woods. He also pioneered the use of Pacific Quilted Maple, Myrtlewood, Maple, and Walnut Burl.
In 1977, Steve settled into an even larger shop, an old church, further down the street. He collected some light production machinery, hired employees, and expanded his line of instruments. By the early 1980’s, Moonstone reached its peak of production, shipping over 1000 guitars throughout the United States and Europe. In the 1988, the Moonstone factory was destroyed by a fire.
By 1990, Steve salvaged most of the equipment and inventory and built a new shop in Eureka, California. Working alone, Steve delved into the art of designing and voicing new acoustic guitars.
Steve personally carves and dimensions the scalloped X-braces on all guitar tops, removing weight, desiring a tall and thin profile. He tap tunes each top until it loosens and vibrates freely as a sound plate (voicing procedure). After nineteen or more years of doing so, Steve has fine-tuned this operation.
Today he still produces guitars and especially hand-crafted acoustic guitars.
More information can be found on this website: http://www.moonstoneguitars.com/ .
About the Guitar:
Only 64 M-80 were produced between 1980 and 1983. Moonstone was one of the first guitar companies to utilize beautiful quilted maple and burl woods in the construction of their guitars. This guitar features a double venetian cutaway semi-hollow body with 2 f-holes, Carbon Fiber Neck, Ebony Fingerboard, pickups are Bartolini ...
The entire neck is constructed from one piece of graphite, molded by the Modulus company, who later went on to prominence with their basses.
The top and back are quilted 5A maple. The fretboard is ebony with starflake inlays. Burl wood overlay on the headstock, gold Grover tuners. The two original Bartolini Beast pickups are working perfectly, and allow this thing to go from smooth jazz to sceaming. One three-way switch for the Beasts and another two-way inverts the phase.